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Commonwealth Bronze Medallist Shaun Pickering dies.

Welsh Athletics logo on a red background.

12/05/2023 00:00, In Blog /

Clive Williams looks at the life of Commonwealth Medallist Shaun Pickering.

The sport of athletics in Wales and indeed the UK will be devastated to learn of the sudden death yesterday (May 11) of Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame member Shaun Pickering at just 61. Coincidentally, Ron, his father, the former Welsh national coach and broadcaster died at the much same age.

Shaun was one of the all-time greats of Welsh athletics winning his first Welsh title taking the hammer in 1980. In all he took 19 men’s Welsh titles, a record that still stands today. In 1983 he took all three “heavy events” in one afternoon – the first person to achieve this feat.

A giant of a man at 6’6, he took 5 shot, 5 discus and 9 hammer titles between 1980 and 1998. He also set a total of 17 Welsh records for the shot, discus and hammer, with his shot best of 20.45m still the Welsh record today after almost 30 years.

His finest performance came in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur when he took the bronze medal. He competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics without success.

He was the chair of the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund a charity set up in memory of his late father which is dedicated to assisting aspiring young athletes. It’s the largest charity dedicated to athletics in the UK.

Shaun followed his father as a coach and was one of the finest coaches of heavy events in the UK having been a former UK national coach for these events.

Lynn Davies, the 1964 Olympic long jump champion who was coached by Ron said:

“Meriel and I are distraught with this very sad news. We have lost a very close friend, who was almost one of our family. We  have always been very close to the Pickering family since I met Ron and Jean Pickering when they first came to Wales. Shaun was a proud Welsh athlete and a passionate coach and supporter of athletics in this country, just like his dad before him. Shaun was a  big man with a big heart. We will miss him dearly.”